Soundtrack for a Sunday: Get Shorty

On a whim, I watched Get Shorty again last night. I’ve been feeling kind of lousy lately and I thought it would be just the ticket. Of course it’s hard to miss with Elmore Leonard’s dialogue (though it happens, alas), but it struck me again that the soundtrack by John Lurie is part of the magic that makes the picture sing.

Finger-snapping New York feel but wandering in the sun: the keys give the walking pace, the horns the attitude, and the tick tick tick of the percussion is a lively mind ticking along looking for angles, opportunities. It’s of a piece with the Florida bright text of the opening credits and the trouble that kicks off the film.

Everything works so well in the film: Rene Russo’s intrigued grin (a criminally underused actor), Travolta hits all the right notes and conveys the sense of wonder of someone from a world away in love with Hollywood (before the reality sets in). I remember that feeling when I first moved there. You carry the romance for a while. Maybe some carry forever. What else? Delroy Lindo looking fine. Gene Hackman playing a clueless hack. Farina: ah man. Gandolfini giving such character. And all the swell folks taking bit parts like Bette Midler and Miguel Sandoval.

But the music pulls it all together, makes it seamless. It matches Leonard’s pacy dialogue. That’s what goes all wrong in the tepid ‘sequel’ Be Cool. Hollywood literalism: it’s about how the music industry makes everything a product (because yeah, Hollywood doesn’t do that, right?). So forget the original soundtrack, let’s stuff it full of product — seriously stuff it. A bloated bag of nothing but air.

Makes me want to get out my Lounge Lizards vinyl…

The television series is good — though it strays a long way from Leonard — maybe because their soundtrack is aces.

[Tangential digression: Elmore Leonard is often called the ‘Dickens of Detroit’ which is a disservice to both. I get it: popular, he writes intricately interweaving narratives of people from all walks of life, but Dickens was never funny. If you have to compare him to a nineteenth century writer, why not Trollope? Funny and cracking dialogue plus all kinds of people — but I mean, funny. But the Trollope of Tiger Town? Probably not going to catch on, is it?]

Imperial Wax @ Dolan’s, Limerick


Bathed in an orange glow most of the night: a high energy show that totally engaged the enthusiastic audience. Photos by K. A. Laity Loads more photos, but this gives a good feel of the energy.

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Double Shot #FallFriday: Brix & the Extricated + Imperial Wax

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Brix & the Extricated‘s new SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON is out today: check out the first single ‘Dinosaur Girl’ — a healthy helping of power pop and get the Rufus Dayglo image on t-shirts!

Imperial Wax present the first follow up to GASTWERK SABOTEURS with the crime-themed video for their latest release ‘Bromide Thrills’ plus tour dates. I’ll be seeing them in Limerick as part of the Fall Symposium.

Love is a Grift Giveaway #2

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UK folks! We have two paperback copies of LOVE IS A GRIFT and we’re giving them away on the Fox Spirit Books Farcebook Page. Go over there hit like (and why not like my page, too?!) then comment on the pinned post that you want it!

Fox Spirit Facebook Page

That’s it! Prizes drawn — probably by cats — on Tuesday April 23rd. And if you get a freebie, you’re going to review it, right? Because that’ll put you into the running for giveaway #3…

Love is a Grift Giveaway #1 Redux

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Okay, there was some kind of Amazon glitch (don’t ask me). BUT NOW!

*5 US-only* ebooks given away at random — sorry folks outside the US, them’s the vagaries of the ‘zon.

Click here: requires watching our theme tune video (see what we did there?)

That’s it! Gotta be in it to win it, as they say in NY. And if you get a freebie, you’re going to review it, right? Because that’ll put you into the running for giveaway #3…

Love is a Grift: Official Music Video

‘LOVE IS A GRIFT’: Now there’s a music video for the theme song!

GRAHAM WYND’s Love is a Grift out from Fox Spirit Books.

Words & Music © 2019 K. A. Laity (Nicnevin Music / ASCAP)

Victoria Squid – Vocals
Julie Beman – Piano
Eric Bloomquist – Bass
Rich Germain – Drums
Brian Slattery – Trombone
Produced and arranged by Julie Beman and Eric Bloomquist
Engineered and mixed by Eric Bloomquist at Cool Ranch Studio

Artwork by S. L. Johnson

Video remix from ‘Sing, Sinner, Sing!’ (1933) by K. A. Laity (via Internet Archive)

Love is a Grift @foxspiritbooks

Here’s the official page at Fox Spirit: you can buy the ebook direct! The shiny print edition is out tomorrow…

And don’t forget the slinky theme song by Victoria Squid! Champagne and whisky…

AND you can get this sweet cover on a t-shirt thanks to artist S. L. Johnson.

Cover(s!) Reveal

So close! Double release of LOVE IS A GRIFT the book and the song. Here’s the drop-dead gorgeous cover art by S. L. Johnson Images. The book from Fox Spirit and the song will be available at CD Baby (and other places). Dead swanky!

Love is a Grift - CD Baby
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Song for a Saturday: Why Do You Hang Around Me – The Liverbirds

The clip actually starts with the stomping ‘Peanut Butter’ and it ends with ‘Diddley Daddy’ but smack in the middle is the song that ought to have been a hit. Also bonus German hipsters dancing.